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Photovoltaic self-consumption in buildings: A review
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics. (Built Environment Energy Systems Group (BEESG))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6745-3635
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics. (Built Environment Energy Systems Group (BEESG))
Linköpings universitet.
Linköpings universitet.
2015 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 142, 80-94 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The interest in self-consumption of PV electricity from grid-connected residential systems is increasing among PV system owners and in the scientific community. Self-consumption can be defined as the share of the total PV production directly consumed by the PV system owner. With decreased subsidies for PV electricity in several countries, increased self-consumption could raise the profit of PV systems and lower the stress on the electricity distribution grid. This review paper summarizes existing research on PV self-consumption and options to improve it. Two options for increased self-consumption are included, namely energy storage and load management, also called demand side management (DSM). Most of the papers examine PV-battery systems, sometimes combined with DSM. The results show that it is possible to increase the relative self-consumption by 13-24% points with a battery storage capacity of 0.5-1. kW. h per installed kW PV power and between 2% and 15% points with DSM, both compared to the original rate of self-consumption. The total number of papers is however rather limited and further research and more comparative studies are needed to give a comprehensive view of the technologies and their potential. Behavioral responses to PV self-consumption and the impact on the distribution grid also need to be further studied.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 142, 80-94 p.
Keyword [en]
Photovoltaics; Self-consumption; Household electricity; Energy storage; Load shifting; Demand side management
National Category
Energy Engineering Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246975DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.12.028ISI: 000350935100008ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84921375090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-246975DiVA: diva2:794643
Småskalig solel i byggnader - kraft för förändring i energisystem och vardagsliv
Swedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2015-03-12 Created: 2015-03-11 Last updated: 2016-05-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Improved Self-Consumption of Photovoltaic Electricity in Buildings: Storage, Curtailment and Grid Simulations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improved Self-Consumption of Photovoltaic Electricity in Buildings: Storage, Curtailment and Grid Simulations
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The global market for photovoltaics (PV) has increased rapidly: during 2014, 44 times more was installed than in 2004, partly due to a price reduction of 60-70% during the same time period. Economic support schemes that were needed to make PV competitive on the electricity market have gradually decreased and self-consumption of PV electricity is becoming more interesting internationally from an economic perspective.

This licentiate thesis investigates self-consumption of residential PV electricity and how more PV power can be allowed in and injected into a distribution grid. A model was developed for PV panels in various orientations and showed a better relative load matching with east-west-oriented compared to south-oriented PV panels. However, the yearly electricity production for the east-west-system decreased, which resulted in less self-consumed electricity. Alternatives for self-consumption of PV electricity and reduced feed-in power in a community of detached houses were investigated. The self-consumption increased more with shared batteries than with individual batteries with identical total storage capacity. A 50% reduction in feed-in power leads to losses below 10% due to PV power curtailment. Methodologies for overvoltage prevention in a distribution grid with a high share of PV power production were developed. Simulations with a case with 42% of the yearly electricity demand from PV showed promising results for preventing overvoltage using centralized battery storage and PV power curtailment.

These results show potential for increasing the self-consumption of residential PV electricity with storage and to reduce stress on a distribution grid with storage and power curtailment. Increased self-consumption with storage is however not profitable in Sweden today, and 42% of the electricity from PV is far more than the actual contribution of 0.06% to the total electricity production in Sweden in 2014.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper, 2016. 71 p.
Photovoltaics, Solar energy, Self-consumption, Grid integration, Distributed generation, Energy storage, Curtailment, Power system
National Category
Energy Engineering Energy Systems
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Solid State Physics
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284091 (URN)
2016-05-20, 2001, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-04-14 Last updated: 2016-05-09Bibliographically approved

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